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A business Method and Information System Architecture Based on the Open-Source Paradigm Disclosure Number: IPCOM000012758D
Original Publication Date: 2003-May-27
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2003-May-27
Document File: 4 page(s) / 126K

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The current competitive environment requires a fast response and anticipation to market opportunities and a correspondingly fast time-to-market. This produces several implications for corporate organizations. They must be able to quickly reconfigure their resources when necessary; they must have an agile strategy development process; and they must have an efficient product development process. This invention consists of a business method and information system architecture based on the open-source paradigm. This method and architecture can be applied to (a) the development of business strategies and (b) the management of product development processes.

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  A business Method and Information System Architecture Based on the Open-Source Paradigm

In this invention, the planning portion of a project is open to many more participants than in conventional approaches, enabling alternatives to be more fully developed and interlocked before evaluation, producing a final plan with more buy-in and quality. The intent is to exploit the well known "fear of the branching" to resolve intellectual conflicts as early as feasible, while simultaneously shortening the tedious planning and strategy sessions by senior management.

This invention's method is called Open Source Management (OSM) as it is based on the open-source paradigm. The project plan or corporate strategy, as the case may be, become part of the "source". Such a method is composed of the following steps:

Provision of full plan visibility: Open access is provide to the "source code" (strategy documents, project plan and status, etc.) Read permissions are released following a specific corporate policy controlled by independent management. Consistency checking is encouraged. Consequent benefits from this step are the maximization of parallelism and the availability of a wide number of individuals working at a maximum pace.

Development of plan in full parallel mode: The team is enabled to work autonomously in multiple locales and time zones. Branching is only allowed in exceptional circumstances, in order not to divide the energy of the community. The benefits of this step are massive progress in development and a semi-automatic consistency checking or "debugging" which is done before the highest management becomes involved.

Fair evaluation of subteam contributions: All contributions are subject to review via a check-in process. Only contributions that advance project goals are incorporated in the golden source. A "guru" suborganization that has knowledge and respect from the community provides direction to the project and has veto power over the commitment of portions to the golden source. The benefits of this step are: (a) contributions are made by the most talented individuals, (b) contributions, rather than individuals, are evaluated, and (c) quality and time-to-completion are vastly improved.

Complete visibility is desirable but would in general not be practical. Some information must have visibility limits (e.g., HR data). Most information will typically be subject to change control. This filtering process can be very expensive, though. The difficulty of this filtering is what keeps this class of process from occurring. Therefore, software infrastructure is needed to lower this overhead. This invention provides the necessary framework to implement such infrastructure.

The preferred embodiment for this method is an architecture is based on prior groupware work and the open source paradigm. As shown in Figure 1, it consists of the following key components:


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Project Source Plan (PSP): a central database or repository where all...